In the worlds of love, war, and politics, there are times when bickering turns into full-blown fights. When things escalate, it’s often better to take a break and see if things can cool down before moving forward with peace or war, reconciliation or divorce. Conservatives and Trumpublicans have reached that point. If they don’t take a step back from each other, it’s just going to get uglier.
The President doesn’t seem to be backing down after attacking the House Freedom Caucus for protecting Americans from Obamacarelite. It’s, as I called I called it the other day, his anticipated leftward lurch.
Conservative media is beside itself. Some old Trumpublicans like Rush Limbaugh have buckled up for the long ride on the Trump train. The Prince of Trumpvania, Sean Hannity, is lightly starting to urge the President to reconsider his current attack strategy. Even Matt Drudge, one of the original Trumppuppets, took a passive-aggressive approach to his dissent by complimenting one of the President’s harshest policy critics in the Senate, Rand Paul.
Others are calling it like it is. Many over at Conservative Review are scratching their heads. Chris Pandolfo was quite blunt in asking, “Dear President Trump: What the hell is wrong with you?”
For full disclosure, my involvement with the Federalist Party makes it challenging for me to be unbiased about all of this. I’ve wanted small-government-minded, freedom-loving members of the Republican Party to see through their leaders’ faux conservatism for several months now. I’m conflicted because the opportunist in me wants to take advantage of the situation and drive a wedge between conservatives and Trumpublicans while the American patriot in me understands the disaster that would be wrought if the Democrats took over the House and Senate in 2018. If the President is pushing for bipartisan moderation while his party is in control in Congress, how far to the left will he go if he’s faced with deadlock?
My proposal: take a step back. The President needs to stop attacking conservatives and conservatives need to reevaluate what their party is really up to on health care, tax reform, and other contentious issues. Less than three months into their term, to be so divided is making the party look foolish. It’s time to find a new path. The Freedom Caucus, along with some Senators such as Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ben Sasse, should consider consolidating their efforts under a new flag. That’s not to say they shouldn’t remain Republicans, but perhaps now is the time to branch out and look at allying with the Federalist Party. An overview of the party should reveal that we’re properly aligned with what America needs right now.
Even if they don’t publicly break up, there needs to be a cool down period. The President is obviously setting up for another run at replacing Obamacare despite claims otherwise. Attempting to woo the Democrats might make sense on some issues, but none of them would be crazy enough to support any variation of repeal. Therefore, the President needs conservatives. He and Paul Ryan can’t get it done without them.
Tax reform isn’t going to be easier. The President’s economic agenda is based on a sound foundation from what little we’ve seen of it. However, if it doesn’t do enough to release the burden on lower- and middle-class families as well as small- and medium-sized businesses, it’s going to be even tougher than the AHCA to get passed. Fiscal conservatives, which includes more Republicans in the House than the Freedom Caucus, promised to relieve taxes dramatically. The President’s agenda requires a larger budget than the one we have today if he’s going build the wall, enhance the military, fix infrastructure, and still maintain his beloved entitlements. The math needs to add up and as of now the tax reforms we need don’t reconcile with the increased spending Trump requires.
Conservatives, it’s time to branch out. Explore the political world. Take a break from focusing on Trump’s agenda and see if there’s something more aligned with your perspectives. We all have to come together before the 2018 elections. Taking a sabbatical from the Trumpublican Party now might present a brighter path for the future.